Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) and Snoring
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS)?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) is a potentially harmful sleep disorder in which patients experience difficulty breathing freely as they sleep. Whereas air would normally flow through the nostrils, the mouth and the throat, a blockage in the upper airway causes a significant and alarming decrease in oxygen to the heart and brain. This chronic, inadequate oxygenation often leads to a surprising number of health and safety complications.
With OSAS, patients experience a chronically disrupted sleep pattern and lower levels of oxygen in the blood. Throughout the night, the upper airway is repeatedly blocked and the airflow stops in an event that is sometimes characterized by particularly loud snoring. In addition to forceful snoring, there are other, more dangerous consequences. Obesity, agitation or tiredness during the day, the inability to concentrate, and headaches can impact the quality of your life and compromise your safety.
How Do I Know if I Have It?
It is nearly impossible to diagnose a condition such as OSAS without a professional evaluation and a sleep study. For most patients, the problem can progress without their knowledge since the breathing difficulty occurs during sleep.
In addition to a detailed medical and social history, Dr. Tye will evaluate the relationship between your anatomy and your sleep disorder. With an x-ray and evaluation of your head, mouth, and jaw, Dr. Tye can determine the cause of the obstruction as well as the extent of the condition.
What are My Treatment Options?
There are also a number of available treatment options for sleep apnea. With a professional assessment, the cause of the breathing obstruction can be identified, and the appropriate treatment can be recommended. Snoring, whether it occurs with or without OSAS, can also be managed with professional care. Modern diagnostics and proven solutions will be employed to evaluate and treat the vibrations in the soft palate, throat, nose, or tongue that contribute to snoring and also sleep apnea.
Though snoring does not always indicate sleep apnea, it can still be a bothersome and noisy problem. Patients who suffer from disruptive snoring and those patients who have been diagnosed with mild sleep apnea could benefit from procedures that are minimally invasive, like Laser Assisted Uvuloplataplasty (LAUP) or the Pillar® Procedure.
Patients who have been diagnosed with moderate to advanced OSAS have access to multiple treatment choices as well. Initially, your treatment therapy may include the use of a CPAP or bi-PAP appliance which can deliver pressurized oxygen through a small mask to promote freer breathing at night. Depending upon your particular condition, long-term treatment options will be recommended as well.
You are Not Alone
We understand the consequences of OSAS, and we are pleased to offer solutions that can protect your health and preserve your safety. Contact our office today to schedule a personal consultation.
For additional procedure information check out the TXOSS Blog: Sleep Apnea